A few weeks back, our blog started discussing how Florida's paternity laws work. Specifically, we spent some time exploring each of the four ways in which legal paternity can be established here in the Sunshine State in an attempt to provide some much-needed clarity on what can be a difficult topic.
In today's post, we'll continue this discussion by exploring some of the benefits that come from establishing paternity for both children and their parents outside of the purely emotional considerations.
From a purely legal perspective, children benefit in multiple ways from establishing paternity. First and foremost, it means that the child will have financial support from two parents, as well as access to both life insurance and health insurance benefits available via their father.
Establishing paternity also serves to solidify a child's inheritance rights, and access to certain government benefits if their father is either disabled or served in the military. Furthermore, knowing the identity of their legal father gives children vital access to information on their family medical history -- something that will be important throughout their entire lives.
By far, the most important benefit that comes from being recognized as the legal father of a child is that it provides the ability to seek a court order for custody or visitation. In other words, it all but ensures that a father looking to establish and maintain a meaningful relationship with their child will be able to do so.
Also important is that establishing paternity can help a father secure the ability to have an equal say in all of the important life decisions that must be made on behalf of the child, including matters like education, religion and health care, to name only a few.
At the very least, establishing paternity can help ensure that the financial responsibility of raising the child will be shared by both parents, and that the child will always have access to any benefits available to the legal father.
Outside of this financial peace of mind, however, mothers can also find satisfaction in knowing that their child will have a complete medical history, a complete birth and, most importantly, a chance to form a lasting bond with both parents.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding paternity, child support or child custody, please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.